MANILA, Philippines – Michael Gabriel Lozada and Kyla Soguilon put Aklan in the spotlight on Saturday, at the start of the Batang Pinoy Games regional championships in Dumaguete.
The pair won 4 of their province's 6 swimming golds at the Lorenzo G. Teves Memorial Aqua Center.
Showing the prowess that made them the stars of the last Aklan provincial swimfest over a week ago, Lozada and Saguilon each won 2 gold medals in the meet organized by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Lozada ruled the boys 13-15-year-old 200-meter individual medley in 2 minutes and 51.79 seconds and also the boys 50-meter backstroke (35:18), while Soguilon topped the 200-meter IM (2:39.60) and the 50-meter back stroke races (33.58).
They are the first double gold medalists of the Batang Pinoy Visayas regionals, and account for a third of Aklan's haul in swimming in the weeklong sportsfest.
Joining Lozada and Soguilon as the third double gold medalist was Ormoc's Chole Sophia Laurente, who won in the girls 12-under 200-meter individual medley (2:49.38) and 50-meter backstroke (35:18), respectively.
Jennuel de Leon topped the boys 12-and-under 100-meter freestyle (1:06.50) and Maria Reina Nazareta emerged victorious in the girls division of the same event for Aklan’s other triumphs where a total of 14 golds were up for grabs on Saturday.
"Siyempre po masaya at nanalo, pero medyo nahirapan din ako," said the 10-year-old Lozada, a Grade 6 student at Infant Jesus Academy who was pressed early in the 50-meter backstroke before pulling away in the final 15-meters.
"I'm happy about this achievement," said Soguilon, who is a Grade 7 student at Region 6 Science High School.
Sharing the day’s spotlight were a trio of Batang Pinoy newcomers in track and field held at the Gov. Mariano Paredes Memorial Stadium.
Competing early in the morning, Bago City’s John Christian Pamatian secured the gold in the boys 3,000-meter run in 18:07.03, Dianaa Rysiame Hurano took the girls long jump championship in 5:17 meters and La Carlota City’s Marjorie Bermudes snared the girls shot put gold with a throw of 10.73 meters.